3 burning carb myths that need to die!!!!
Q1. Do carbohydrates make you fat?
Answer) In a calorie, controlled environment, with ample storage capacity and the right amount of exercise no!!! ... Is it that simple?
As we’ve previously mentioned peoples tolerance to carbohydrates can differ, so for most finding the right amount will be case dependent. This is where we look at ones health (stress, conditions), and daily activity in and out of the gym.
Q2. Are there good carbs and bad carbs?
Answer) There are no good or bad foods, only bad diets that lack the essential nutrients (proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals), and actually thinking this way over time has many psychological disadvantages, which can lead to future eating disorders. At the simplest level our bodies extract what’s required to optimise all bodily functions and performance, and has no clue what a bowl of ice cream is, or a sweet potato, just the nutrients they contain once digestion starts, and foods get broken down into smaller particles. Your body thinks survival..
As I've mentioned previously, simple carbohydrates aren’t bad, but on their own provide little to no satiety during, and between meals, and lack the essential nutrients required to function optimally, but may provide performance benefits when taken appropriately, when a fast acting fuel source is required, so build your knowledge, ensure you are eating plenty of nutrient dense foods, to reduce calorie requirements, and allow more wiggle room for the days that mean the most with the people you love.
The only times certain specific foods would be bad are when someone has an allergy, sensitivity, or condition such as celiac or lactose intolerance.
Q3. I’ve heard you shouldn’t eat your carbohydrates after 6pm, is this true?
Answer) Again untrue, our bodies are much smarter than we’d like to think and if you are needing food again with ample storage then you won’t get a telling off for eating at night, think performance.
If total calories, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are the same by the end of the day then for the everyday individual it doesn’t really matter when you have them, you are depleting and replenishing energy stores all the time, storing and losing fat all the time (we have storage space in the muscles, liver and blood stream).
Nutrition can then be based around performance and personal preference, but bare in mind that the total amount, and what you pair them with may have a positive and negative effect on energy levels and performance. It’s important to keep a log and assess how certain foods make you feel.
Here are 7 reasons in my opinion that may be holding you back from achieving your goals, and how to fix them.
focus more on quantity over quality
The problem: Doing more does not equate to more
fat loss, or a better physique, and will only fatigue you over time. Your body
is very efficient, and much smarter than you give it credit for, and all your
doing is wasting whatever energy reserves you have just moving, instead of
focusing on preserving. When dieting, your goal should be to preserve as much
muscle mass as possible, as this will ensure your losing mostly fat. Muscle is
way more active and requires way more calories than body fat to survive and all
your doing is giving your body a reason to retain body fat, and utilise your
hard earned muscle mass as fuel source, which will slow down your metabolism, limit
your food intake, and makes it much harder in future to lose any weight.
Not lifting anywhere near your true
potential is not only a waste of energy when used as your sole form of exercise,
but also very energy depleting. If your
body is not fed properly, it will gladly waste muscle mass to survive.
My solution: train smart, big compound
lifts, all over body 3-5 times per week, with the focus being on progressive
overload (getting better over time).
getting stronger on a diet, there's no way your losing muscle mass, and whatever
does come off will be mostly body fat.
I would use classes as a form of cardio or
to spend time socialising with others as it's ok to also do the things you like.
In my experience training this way with
supersets, giant sets, reduced rest and lots of variations (think moving from
the ground to a squat, rotations etc) will elicit the best results, especially
with female clients.
focus more on variety over consistency
The problem: I get it, variety keeps you
from getting bored, but here's the problem. You’re not allowing the body to
adapt to the training stimulus, and through adaptation we evolve, build muscle,
and make physical changes.
Q. But wait, does variety not keep the muscles
A., You cannot, I repeat cannot trick a
muscle, you’re only changing the training stimulus forcing new adaptation.
Muscles only know how to contract and relax and again cannot be tricked.
My solution: have one main lift per body
part where you focus on strength and skill, every other exercise should not
only be focused on skill, but maintaining excellent form, constant tension, and
perfect execution. Once these are met you can add a little variety or intensifiers
which are extended sets. Once you cannot add weight, reps or improve on form,
have a look in the mirror, and I guarantee your body is changing.
Stick with a program for at least 4-6 weeks (advanced),
and 8+ weeks (beginners), as this will probably be the amount of time you'll
need to adapt, respond, and reap the benefits
The problem: looking at a weight, and while
lifting the weight assume that if we can't complete a certain amount of reps, or
lift a certain amount of weight then you've failed or underperformed, when in
fact you’re getting stronger and forcing adaptation within the rep range.
Lifting 12’s on a chest press for 6-8 reps
doesn't mean you've failed because you couldn't do more, it means you can lift
12’s for 6-8 reps. Now if you lifted 10’s you could maybe perform 8-10 reps,
8’s for 10-12 reps and so on. So, more weight = less reps, less weight = more
1-5 reps = strength, power, muscle growth
6-15 reps = strength, muscle growth
15+ reps = muscle growth, endurance
It's important to note you can grow in any
rep range providing the total volume is sufficient, so 5 sets of 6 reps won't
make you bulkier than 3 sets of 10, volume is volume.
Now that's cleared up, for our bodies to
make a physical change we need to push to mechanical and physical failure over
time, this is how we adapt, respond, and grow.
If you’re not pushing some form of failure,
and stuck in your comfort zone, then your muscles are already capable of lifting
that weight, which will not be enough to stimulate more muscle growth, restrict
performance and physical development, and potential fat loss over time (again
your basically just moving with weight)!
The solution: Don’t be afraid to fail, get
good at it, take rest, and go again. Learn from failure, it's how we evolve in
to a better version of ourselves. Just make sure you focus on excellent form
and the strength and physique will come.
You can also have different exercises for
each body part that focus on different rep ranges
Squats 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps (strength,
Pull ups 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps (same as
Incline DB chest press 2-3 sets of 9-12
reps (muscle growth)
45-degree hip extensions 2 x 15-20 (muscle
When working in the lower rep ranges always
stop 1-2 reps from failure, and as the reps go higher push for some form of
muscular failure (burning in the muscles, or failure to move lol)
care too much about what other people think
The problem: unfortunately, as time goes on
there’s still a certain stigma with weight training that needs to die!! Most
relate the free weights area to a man cave, or the grunt box, and think there
being judged for stepping into the realm. Thinking this way will not benefit
your goals one bit, and is a complete waste of time and energy, but then again I
also understand why you think this way, especially if your relating weight
training to grumpy men with classic shitting dog posture lol.
The solution: take one step at a time, do
the things you like. Remember this is
your body, your journey, and no one is judging you, if they are having a look
at them, there not evolving, and I guarantee they look exactly the same as they
did last year! Trust me, most men today are more self-conscious than the women,
and a lot of my female clients lift better than the guys, especially when it
comes to technique! Never let anyone come in the way of you reaching your full
not eating enough when it matters the most
The problem: I see it all the time, women
who live on poverty calories, and caffeinated beverages all day, finish work
and head to the gym, perform two classes back to back, then wonder why they're not
getting stronger, nor seeing change, then wonder why they start to raid the
fridge at night, and overeat at the weekends. It’s not that you don’t have
willpower, your blood sugar levels are low and need to be replenished with
something fast, high fat and sweet. Therefore your still hungry post dinner
time, you've not eaten all day, trained for 2 plus hours and your bodies saying
What your doing is unsustainable!!!
Consuming less calories doesn't always
equate to better results, and there will come a point when your body starts
fighting back by slowing down metabolism (think exercise, hormones, digestion, the
immune system, and day to day life), and all bodily functions (so you’re
basically just moving slower), which will also shunt your fat loss efforts.
Therefore you feel your eating more on
other diets. Your still in a calorie deficit, but a minor one which is enough
to shift fat and keep things running. Don't be fooled into thinking by eating
more you'll lose more, your still in a deficit and cannot lose fat in a calorie
Extreme dieting is not sustainable, unnecessary
and will mess with your progress long term, not to mention binging and any future
To perform optimally you need calories and
within those calories specific nutrients, and the good news is you can meet
this nutritional quota or the RDA when dieting.
My solution: 3 balanced meals per day
containing all 3 macronutrients, with either 2 cups of veg, salad or fruit in
each, as this should balance your blood sugar to prevent overeating. Eat a
complete meal 2-3 hours pre, and post training and keep ¼ of your total carbohydrates
around the training window. This should help again balance blood sugar and
replenish deleted energy stores, which again should stop the need to
excessively overeat later.
Even when dieting your main goal should be
performance, and getting the most from your body, as long as physically possible.
don't believe in yourself
The problem: we have such high expectations
of ourselves along with fixed mindsets. We believe we can't be successful
without suffering, and believe we're not working hard enough if we're enjoying our
I get it, you've been here before, you've
been very active and healthy at a younger age and believe to be healthy you
need to do as much as you previously did. Your Facebook and Instagram feeds are
filled with people who preach “the grind”, and drill this nonsense into your
head that the only way to diet is plain chicken breast and salad, mixed with battle
ropes and every workout you don't like. The best training and diet plans are
the ones you like and can stick to, these will elicit the best results over
My solution: hire a coach to help alter
your mindset to match your belief system, let him educate and teach you
exercises that you can perform and give 100%. Work together to build a
nutrition plan that matches your needs but optimises performance and moves you
further towards your goals, and start to include, and replace instead of
exclude and cut out.
Most people should only focus on a calorie
deficit first, as this is all that's really needed.
fear getting muscular on a diet!
This will be a short one…..
You cannot I repeat cannot gain muscle mass
on a diet, think about this for a bit! There's not enough food available to
grow for a start.
Would you really be bothered if you gained
3 pounds of muscle over a year but lost 2 stone of fat???
My solution: train with the aim to grow.
The muscles will re develop which will show their tone but not increase in
overall size. You'll get stronger muscles, build strong bones, reduce fat,
boost key reward hormones (preventing depression, overeating) and look amazing.
When you train your body see’s survival only,
so take advantage of this and train to hold onto muscle mass and ditch as much
fat as possible.
Are you CONSTANTLY fatigued?
Have a reduced or heightened appetite?
Not getting enough quality, efficient training sessions?
Here is a some things to have a look at....
Are you getting enough good quality uninterrupted hours each night?
lack of sleep may over time lead to under recovery, heightened appetite, weight gain/water retention, loss of memory, poor training performance and motor skills, sickness, an imbalance in hormones and heightened emotions,
Lack of sleep can even lead to an increase in appetite and cortisol which is our stress hormone!!
You know the deal 6-8 hours per night!!
If you are consistently under eating you will be malnourished, especially if you are not eating enough nutrient dense foods.
A lot of people just don't get or realize that what they eat plays a major role in their daily lives.
Sure there are certain vitamins and minerals and nutrients we can produce and store in the body but there are also essential vitamins and nutrients we cannot, including essential fatty acids from dietary fats, essential amino acids from dietary proteins and 13 vitamins.
Not matter what you think you are not running optimally in the gym, throughout life including family matters and work if you are not fueling your body, your life will be affected.
If dieting, or maintaining weight when very, very lean, over time lack of food and nutrients combined with poor food choices will effect you overall performance!
Lack of food will also effect sleep and increase cortisol production due to food deprivation!!
Lets face it, we all have stress in some way, shape or form, a little can be healthy, especially in times when we need fuel as cortisol's primary function is to break down energy (think nutrients to fuel training) but chronic low grade stress can cause numerous issues such as...
Lowered immunity which protects us from the outside world and aids in recovery.
Digestion - which breaks down nutrients and kills off any bugs or nasty's that get into our system.
Sleep quality (everything relates), our circadian rhythm, poor mood, increase cravings (think of the main function here), reduce satiety, increase blood pressure, lack of inelegance and hormone imbalance.
Exercise, mindfulness practice, breathing techniques and better preparation will benefit.
Trust me you do have the time, all it takes is a little practice at changing your habits!
Your either not training enough to maintain health or training too much and inefficiently while not eating adequately to support the amount you are doing over a period of time.
Either way again look at your nutrition and lifestyle choices, assess if both these factors can first support, and if not devise a plan that you can optimize through current nutritional strategies and lifestyle choices.
Why not consider a diet break???
Anytime you are not feeling 100% look at these four factors and I guarantee something is a little out of place!! If all else has failed and you are doing everything with excellence then please consult your GP.
High blood pressure or hypertension affects 26% of the
population worldwide. In the UK, 5 million people are said to be unaware they
have high blood pressure yet it affects more than 1 in 4 adults, accounts for
12% of all visits to GP’s and is one of the biggest risk factors for premature
death and disability in England. It is estimated to cost the NHS over £2
billion every year.
High blood pressure can lead to diseases including heart
disease, stroke, vascular dementia and chronic kidney disease.
So, what can we do to help reduce and prevent high blood
Reduce your sugar
intake - Reducing refined sugars and
sweetened beverages may help reduce your blood pressure. I’m not saying sugar
is bad for your health, but we must look the whole diet and if you are getting most
of your calories from refined sugars while avoiding animal proteins, dairy, fruits,
starches and vegetables then you’re not going to optimise your vitamin and
mineral intake which may affect health.
The end of the day once fully digested sugar is sugar, but
if we eat foods that contain natural occurring sugars such as fruits you’ll
also increase your daily intake of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre,
not to mention slowing down digestion and improved meal satiety.
Eat potassium rich
foods – A diet high in potassium can reduce the risk of hypertension or a
stroke and possibly prevent heart disease, heart failure and kidney disease. A dietary reference intake of 3500-4700mg per
day is recommended, but most average Americans and Brits consume only half that
while over consuming refined salt, again sodium isn’t bad and is essential to
life, and reducing or cutting completely may be just as hazardous as too much. Getting
the balance of sodium to potassium correct may be a deciding factor in whether or
not your salt consumption is helpful or harmful.
The recommended intake for sodium is 1.5-2.3g per day and by
consuming unrefined sea salt you will also be getting additional minerals such
as silicon, phosphorus and vanadium.
Potassium is present in all fruits, vegetable, meat and
fish. Other high sources included sweet and white potatoes, bananas, avocados,
parsley, milk, chocolate, beet greens, all nuts, dried apricots and bran.
Cold water fish –
There are numerous benefits of EPA and DHA, the omega 3 fatty acids found in
cold water fish, especially DHA which has been shown to help reduce blood pressure.
Consuming cold water fish 3 times per week has been shown to decrease your risk
of hypertension, and can be just as effective as taking a fish oil supplement.
Magnesium – A diet
rich in magnesium has been shown to reduce blood pressure, and one study found
significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure among
people with hypertension after taking a magnesium supplement for just 12 weeks.
The recommended intake for magnesium is 3-400mg per day. Magnesium is involved
in over 300 enzymatic functions within the body including energy production,
action of your heart muscle, formation of bones and teeth, relaxation of blood
vessels, bowel function and blood sugar regulation. Other sources of magnesium
include green leafy vegetables, avocados, almonds some beans and peas.
There are numerous other ways to prevent high blood pressure
including weight and stress management, daily exercise, adequate sleep, and relaxation
techniques such as meditation, and deep breathing.
Also, normalising vitamin D levels with exposure to
ultraviolet light “via natural sunlight or tanning beds” increases nitric oxide
production. Nitric oxide is a powerful vasodilator, helping the blood vessels
to relax which in turn lowers blood pressure, but as we already know too much
sun exposure can also be harmful so there may be a benefit to consuming 1-2000iu
of additional vitamin D3, especially during the winter months. Other roles of
vitamin D include calcium and phosphorus absorption, bone and immune health, B
vitamin formation in the gut and B12 absorption via the stomach.
Nutrients are substances we humans use in large quantities,
and are needed for all bodily functions, including energy production, tissue growth
Depending on the nutrient, these substances are needed in
small or large amounts. Those that are needed in larger amounts are called
There are three macronutrients that the body requires. These
are proteins (amino acids), carbohydrates (sugars), and fats (lipids). Each of these
macronutrients provides energy in the form of calories.
In proteins, there are 4 calories per gram.
In carbohydrates, there are 4 calories per gram.
In fats, there are 9 calories per gram.
This means that if you consumed 20 grams of protein or 20g
of carbohydrates within a meal both foods would contain 40 calories each, if
you had them together the total would then become 80 calories.
Food labelling, what you need to know.
Nutrition labels can
help you choose between similar products and keep a check on the amount of
foods you are eating. This can be highly beneficial to say a diabetic who needs
to watch their overall sugar intake, or the athlete, bodybuilder or dieter
looking to track their overall calorie/macronutrient intake.
Knowing what nutrients, you are consuming can help you create
a balanced meal, making you aware of each specific nutrient within a certain
Also, being able to track specific nutrients, will allow
greater flexibility within the diet, as you’ll be able to vary food sources
daily while hitting your overall calorie target and even macronutrient, or
fibre intake. No more worrying that a food is high in fat, sugar or salt, as by
knowing your daily energy requirements you can balance each meal accordingly to
suit individual needs.
Most pre-packed foods have a nutritional label on the back
or side of the packaging. These labels include information on energy in
kilojoules (KJ), and kilocalories (Kcal), usually referred to as calories.
Labels also include information on proteins, carbohydrates,
of which sugars, fats, saturated fats, fibre, sodium (salt). Some labels are
even more specific providing information on various types of dietary fat,
vitamins and minerals. All nutrient information is provided per 100 grams and
then a recommended serving size.
Some companies also highlight the energy, fat, saturated fat
and salt content on the front of the packaging alongside the reference intake for
each, you may notice some of the information highlighted in red, amber and
green light coding, which can also help you determine if a food is high, medium
or low in a specific nutrient.
Most products will also contain an ingredients list which
will allow you to know what they contain.
The ingredients are listed in order of weight with the main
ingredients in the package first so you’ll know if a product is predominantly
sugar based, fat based etc.
Some thoughts to keep in mind,
Just because a product is low in fat, does not
make it any more nutritious as most companies will replace said fat with
additional sugars, sweeteners, and thickeners.
Once you know your overall calorie requirement don’t
be overly concerned if a food group is high in proteins, carbohydrates and fats
unless your diet is macronutrient specific or tailored to suit. Looking at your diet while understanding that
everything equates over the day, will allow you to have more flexibility.
If a product you are eating contains 20g of fat,
and labelled in red as being high, wouldn’t matter if your overall fat
allowance for the day was say 60g, you’d just tailor the diet to suit.
There are many benefits to balancing out your
meals and one’s overall nutrition, these include satiety during and between
meals, muscle protein synthesis, stable blood sugar, better digestion, nutrient
absorption and bodily functions we will get to over the next few weeks.
Remember food labelling can be off 20-25%.
Quite simply if you over consume calories and expend less
energy you’ll gain weight, or if you under consume calories you’ll not gain
quality muscle mass.
Often when embarking on a new health journey we spend too much time cutting so
many different food groups out of our diets.
These include all wheat based products such as bread and pasta because we believe they're "fattening", or different fruits as you were told that any sugar is
"bad for you", or certain whole grains and pulses due to their phytates.
form of dairy as it maybe causing your "acne" or "bloat", even red meat and eggs get a bad rap for the fear of their saturated fat content and all foods that contain cholesterol!
Sure there are people with allergies and intolerance's but most of us believe it
or not do not, I repeat do not have these food related issues.
You may not only leave yourself with a brand spanking
new eating disorder, deficient in specific nutrients, deprived and unsatisfied,
while binging and splurging, but with the inability to digest these food groups
over time due to enzyme down regulation.
So I invite you to think a little differently...
Instead of being exclusive and
removing all the food groups that you've read in your favorite magazines, or from your latest guru's Facebook post, be inclusive and include new food groups that will
benefit you as a whole.
These include all fruits and vegetables, whole grains, a variety or meats and dairy, oily
fish, beans, and pulses.
Doing so will not only add more variety to ones crappy diet, but provide a much wider variety of nutrients that nourish your body and optimize all of its functions including hormonal support, digestion and absorption, and the big one "detoxification".
Ensuring your covering your vitamin and mineral needs will allow you to enjoy some of the finer things in life, like a little hot sauce, some gravy on your roast potatoes, sugary custard, some pots of joy, dam I could go on and on. You wont get a guru's gold star for eating any more additional nutrients as you'll just secrete anything that's not needed!
Instead of looking at each individual food as say fattening or high sugar, it would be better to look at your nutrition as a whole and learn how much protein, fats, carbs and fiber you actually need to function at your best. If you ate a certain food that was say 30 grams of fat that wouldn't matter much if your fat allowance for the day was 70 grams. Learning what certain foods provide will allow for a greater degree of flexibility and the freedom to chose the foods you want to eat!
Now more chicken, broccoli and sweet potato or a shitty plain tuna salad!
At some point you'll need to realize that it's not the foods themselves that's making
you gain the unwanted pounds, it's simply poor eating habits!
We simply lack the knowledge to balance and vary our meals, which leaves extreme calorie drops and weekend binges, while wasting hard earned cash on the next health supplement, or juice diet.
- Yes this is why your training may suck!
- Yes this is why your weak and lack strength!
- Yes this is why your constantly deprived, unsatisfied and yo yo dieting.
- Yes alcohol and fiber do count towards your targets!
- No saturated fat isn't bad, an imbalance of specific fats could be!
- No eating foods containing cholesterol will not give you high cholesterol, get
the balance right, eat some fiber rich food as it binds to cholesterol!
- No sugar will not cause you harm when calories, protein and fiber are in check,
and no maple syrup, honey are not sugar free!
- No red meat is not bad for your heart, but a lack of B12 and other vital
nutrients can cause way more harm in the long run, including anemia, red blood
cell degeneration, or elevate homo-cysteine.
- No bread and pasta are not fattening, the added calories from the creamy sauce
or the pizza the next day on top of your maintenance calories were fattening!
Really think about where your at, and question if it's working? If not put in the
time and effort to making it work, and build your knowledge of specific food groups.
Be mindful, aware
and accountable for your own goals and others. Accept responsibility for everything in life, not just the times you thought you were "good".
Just think how you'd feel to actually know why your feeding your kids and loved ones the way you are, nourishing their futures.
So what exactly are calories?
A calorie is a little bastard that creeps into your room at night and sews all
your clothes tighter. My closets are infested with the little shits lol.
Ok, to keep things simple a calorie is a measurement of energy.
Calories in refers to the amount of food we eat, therefore you are taking 'in'
those calories, you are taking 'in' that energy.
For instance when you eat 100g of banana your taking in around 89 calories, and
when you eat 100g of chicken breast, your taking in around 165 calories.
When your body uses energy think of this as calories out.
Everything your body does to stay alive requires energy.
These can include...
- Day to day functions and bodily maintenance.
- Food digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- Activities like walking, jogging, lifting weights, and gardening.
- Fidgeting, shivering, even during sleep as we recover.
- Your body is complex, no doubt about it. And there is a lot going on as you move,
sleep, digest and exercise throughout the day. Your body is repairing cells,
building muscle, basically keeping you alive.
Day in day out your body will utilize different types of calories in many
If you eat more calories than your body can use, you will store the excess
calories in the muscles and liver, or create new unwanted fat stores.
In theory if you eat less calories than you expend then the opposite should
happen and you should start to lose weight.
But is it really as simple as calories in vs calories out?
Let's just say there is a difference between losing weight and losing fat, and
the type of calories you consume in the form of protein, fats and
carbohydrates will also play an important role in deciding where the weight loss is actually
Other factors include;
How foods are prepared, cooked, and stored.
Ingestion (chewing), digestion (breaking down), and absorption, as well as
stress levels, gut health and physiological makeup.
Whole minimally processed foods are harder to break down thus absorbing less
calories but requiring more energy to process. Processed foods are easier
to break down meaning you'll extract more calories but burn fewer digesting as
the process is pretty much done already.
Incorrect food labelling, some as much as 20-25%.
Energy burnt at rest (RMR), daily physical activity such as walking, and weight
training (PA) and non exercise activity which includes household work,
fidgeting, thinking, standing, blinking, basically anything that doesn't
involve meaningful exercise (NEAT).
As you can see there are many different factors that influence how a calorie is
utilized within the body and its up to you to find the right balance to suit
your overall goal.
Water is one of the most important aspects of our everyday lives.
One could argue that water is the most important nutrient we actually consume
or don't consume enough of.
So why is this nutrient so important?
How much do we actually need? Lets get
down to some basics.
Water makes up around 60% of our total body weight. Two thirds are found within
our cells as intracellular fluid, and one third or the remaining is
extracellular fluid found bathing our cells.
Our muscle tissue is a little more than 70% water by weight, 64% of our skin is
water, our bones hold around 22%, and even our fat stores hold around 10%.
Extracellular fluid includes both the fluid between our cells and also the
plasma portion of our blood (where our energy is produced, proteins are
As the most abundant substance within us, water provides the body with an
environment for all other substances to be either dissolved, suspended or
bathed in water. Substances such as the macro nutrients which you may have learned
previously and electrolytes dissolve in water very well. The B vitamins and
vitamin C are also water soluble nutrients. Fats and fat soluble vitamins such
as A, D, E, K are not, and require lipids (fats) and specific proteins.
Water helps regulate our body temperature, and has the ability to absorb heat
to keep us from overheating (hypethermia) as well as keep us from over cooling
Water also provides the basis for lubricating substances found in our joints,
helping to cushion and reduce the physical stress and friction between the bone
and the joint. Water is the basic of amniotic fluid that cushions and protects
the fetus during pregnancy. Our urine, bile (breaks down fats), saliva (starts
digestive process and the breakdown of sugars), mucus, lacrimal fluid (out
tears) and digestive secretions (breakdown foods) are all water based. A
typical adult will lose as much as 2 to 3 litres of water daily,that's 0.9-1.4lbs.!
Water and the removal of waste products.
About 1 to 2 litres are lost in urine when removing waste products of our
metabolism. With every process in our body there are byproducts that can be
harmful and have to be eliminated, for instance the byproduct of protein break
down during exercise is ammonia which is then sent to the liver to be packaged
into a less harmful product which can then be excreted. Other substances in
excess of our needs include excess sodium, blood sugar, water, vitamins, and
minerals (remember we spoke about this previously?).
Sweating can also help remove extra body heat produced by normal cell
Water also helps moisten our poo, improving transit, which may reduce
constipation thus improving regularity.
Ok enough with the science stuff, let's take a look at dehydration.
As little as a 2% loss of body weight as water we can become thirsty and may
experience a slight reduction in strength. By the time we reach 4%, muscular
strength and endurance is significantly hindered. A 10% reduction is associated
with heat intolerance and general weakness. If dehydration continues life
itself becomes threatened and if we lose 20% we can become susceptible to coma
As a general rule for clients I recommend whatever you weigh in pounds in
ounces then half and convert into litres, for instance someone around 70kg
would need to consume around 2.3ltrs of water per day, that's 9 to 10
cups, Another proposed easier way of estimating water intake is to consume 1ml
for every Kcal of your diet. So, a person consuming 3500kcal a day, would have
3.5litres, before then adding in more for exercise and if doing so add around
500ml for every 30 minutes.
Where else can we get water from?
As you can see to the left we can also get water from a variety of foods such as fruits ad vegetables which will supply our bodies with the highest amounts.
Other foods such as chicken and meat contain between 60 and 70% water, cheese and bread between 35 and 40%.
Also adding water to coffee, tea, oats, and rice will also count, and although beneficial I would still use the above recommendations before counting food sources.
Can you consume too much? Can it cause harm?
Now you know the benefits of daily water consumption, with everything in life
too much of something isn't always a good thing, and excess water can do a lot
more harm than good. Hyponatremia or "insufficient sodium in the
blood" can lead to water intoxication, an illness whose symptoms may
include headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination and mental
Excess water can also mess with our electrolyte balance, and put a lot of
pressure on the kidneys where only a certain amount of fluids can be processed
at any one time. The kidneys control the amount of water, salt and other
solutes leaving the body, and every hour the kidneys can excrete around 0.8 to
1 litres of water which from the research seems safe.
This means that you can’t just endlessly knock back litres of water, be mindful, stay hydrated and keep water consistent everyday to prevent any of the above, including water retention from believe it or not a lack of.
Again a very rough guideline is
to have 500ml per half hour of exercise and then to sip water regularly throughout
There are a couple of things to consider when trying to reduce body fat.
First we need to ensure that we are progressively and consistently hitting all our targets including calories and macro's, training and recovery, stress management, cardio, and posing if we are competing.
Now I could get in a big conversation here explaining the benefits of each but instead I'll share some quick tips along with two slight variations of my favorite go to meal of the day.
Tip #1 - Nutrient density
Nutrient dense foods are foods that have a lot of nutrients but contain fewer calories. These types of foods in my opinion are crucial when dieting as they'll supply the body with essential nutrients necessary for all bodily functions. This will serve you well especially when the calories begin to drop and we get deeper into a deficit, ensuring you are still at least hitting your micro-nutrient targets.
Some great examples of nutrient dense foods weighing 100 grams would be...
Spinach 24 calories, broccoli 35 calories, carrots 28 calories, baby potato 75 calories and sweet potato at 86 calories.
Other benefits to consuming these types of foods will include their fiber content which will improve satiety, help with digestion and keep your gut healthy, plus their water content which will improve hydration and fullness.
Tip #2 - Food volume
It's a no brainer that food volume is essential when it comes to dieting, and eating foods low in calories but with a higher food volume will also help improve satiety so try adding other high volume low calorie foods like mushrooms, butternut squash, courgette spaghetti, beans, legumes or even cauliflower to meals that would normally contain rice or pasta.
This means that for the same volume of food you're consuming fewer calories. so win, win, wheres the nut butter!
So here are two of my favorite examples of favorite stir fries.
Coconut, maple syrup, butternut and baby potato stir fry
What you'll need
570g mixed veg (large bag from tesco)
Your favorite protein (chicken, turkey, beef, egg white, venison)
250g butternut squash
200g baby potato
50ml rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
15ml coconut aminos (Amazon) 15g balsamic vinegar
15ml maple syrup
1-2g powdered garlic
1-2g ground ginger
1. Pre heat the wok and use a low cal spray such as fry lite.
2. Add a full pack of mixed vegetables and cook for 4 minutes, constantly mixing.
3. Mix your sauce, add to the wok with your favorite meat (chicken and venison are my choices), squash noodles and heat for another 3-5 minutes
4. Slice pre cooked baby potato and cook for another 60 seconds
5. Season with sea salt and serve.
Chicken, cashew and coconut stir fry
Here's what you will need
200g of pre cooked chicken breast
1 pack of your favorite vegetables
100g of pre cooked wholegrain rice
50 ml red wine vinegar
30g cashew butter
10g coconut oil
1. Pre heat the wok and add 5g of coconut oil.
2. Add a full pack of mixed vegetables and cook for 4 minutes, constantly mixing.
3. Add red wine vinegar to the wok with the chicken breast, and pre cooked wholegrain rice heat for another 1-2 minutes
4. Add the cashew butter, season with sea salt, serve and enjoy.
Both meals are under 400 calories and will completely fill any plate, so why not give them a try and leave a comment below?
Have a great day!
MCT's, could this saturated fat boost your fat loss?
MCT’s or Medium Chain Triglycerides are a
type of saturated fat found in coconut oil that provides the caloric density of
a fat without the same detrimental effects of having too much fat in your diet
(depending on goal of course).
Unlike conventional oils MCT’s are taken
straight to the liver via the hepatic portal vein before they even get a chance
to be stored as fat. MCT’s also do not require digestive enzymes that other
fats do from pancreatic lipase. You see MCT’s behave like carbohydrates in the
body with some studies showing they are absorbed and utilised as rapidly as
sugar without increasing insulin levels.
MCT’s from coconut oil contain lauric acid,
which has tremendous anti – microbial properties that help to fight infections and
viruses from bacteria.
90% of coconut oil is made up of saturated
fats, the remaining 10% polyunsaturated, with 60% of the saturated fats also
being MCT’s and the rest LCT’s (long chain triglycerides), 50% of the fat being
lauric acid you can see the
So for those who are on a lower
carbohydrate approach, supplementing with MCTs may be beneficial at preserving
lean muscle mass while shedding the unwanted pounds. Trying to gain muscle mass? Adding MCT's to meals can help boost caloric intake but prevent additional unwanted body fat providing you dont go overboard lol, and this can be done
before, during or after training using either
A large coffee with coconut oil
and 20g whey pre training
MCT oil and BCAA’s during
Your favourite whey shake topped
with coconut milk post workout
(1)One study showed that MCT consumption
might stimulate greater total energy expenditure than LCT’s (from olive oil).
EE was taken 30 minutes before a meal and 5 ½ hours post prandial. The results
showed a greater loss in bodyweight in individuals consuming MCT’s than LCT’S.
(2)Another study found that breakfasts containing MCT’s over LCT’s (from corn
oil) improved satiety and reduced food intake acutely (lunch) in overweight
(3)In another study researchers found that
combining MCTs with chilli powder increased diet-induced thermogenesis by around
50% compared to other combinations, also showing improvements in satiety and
decrease energy intake
(4) Supplementing with MCT’s has also been
shown to benefit patients with Alzheimer’s. Their seams to be a decrease in the
brains ability to utilise glucose as its principal energy substrate, and
researchers found that supplementing with MCT’s may improve cognitive
functioning in older adults with memory disorders but more research is needed.
Other sources of MCT’s are
Palm kernel oil
Cheese (if you
1. Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride
consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower
initial body weight and
greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissuehttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12975635 2. Impact of medium and long chain triglycerides consumption on
appetite and food intake in overweight men.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25074387
medium-chain triglyceride and chilli feeding increases diet-induced
thermogenesis in normal-weight humans.
of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults.